Felix Rosenqvist secured pole position for the qualifying race of the Macau Grand Prix as times tumbled during second qualifying on Friday.
The Swedish driver had held provisional pole position following Thursday’s opening qualifying session, but had to improve his time during the second session to put his SJM Theodore Racing by Prema Powerteam car on pole.
Rosenqvist’s 2m11.841s from Thursday would have seen him down in tenth position had he not improved such were the gains made on Friday, with the 2015 FIA European Formula 3 Champion and defending Macau Grand Prix winner clinching pole with a time of 2m10.474s.
Joining Rosenqvist on the front row will be Spaniard Daniel Juncadella of Fortec Motorsports, who was a last minute addition to the field after Pietro Fittipaldi decided against competing around the streets of Macau this season.
Juncadella finished just 0.213s back from the pole time, while row two sees Charles Leclerc of Van Amersfoort Racing line-up alongside Antonio Giovinazzi of Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, although the Italian cut short the session when he crashed at the left-hander before Maternity Bend.
Friday morning practice pacesetter Markus Pommer confirmed his pace by finishing fifth for Motopark, although the German will take a two-place penalty for impeding another driver during the session, while Sam MacLeod, who raced alongside Pommer at Motopark during the European Formula 3 season but who is racing for Team West-Tec F3 in Macau, qualifying sixth but moving up to fifth.
Sergio Sette Camara will start sixth after having his first untroubled session of the weekend in the second of the two Motopark entries, while Arjun Maini of ThreeBond with T-Sport secured an excellent eighth, behind the penalised Pommer.
Alessio Lorandi of Van Amersfoort Racing and Lance Stroll of Prema Powerteam complete the top ten.
It was a disappointing day for the Carlin team, with both Giovinazzi and Callum Ilott both crashing, with the Briton’s time from opening qualifying counting towards his grid slot, leaving him down in eighteenth after being second overnight.
Fellow Carlin driver Gustavo Menezes also tagged the wall at Moorish, but due to damage could not turn the car sufficiently and understeered the car into the barriers at the Melco Hairpin, with Lorandi running into the back of him as a result and a traffic jam forming behind.
Macau Grand Prix Qualifying Result
|1||1||Felix Rosenqvist||SWE||SJM Theodore Racing by Prema Powerteam||2m10.474s|
|2||21||Daniel Juncadella||ESP||Fortec Motorsports||2m10.687s|
|3||15||Charles Leclerc||MON||Van Amersfoort Racing||2m10.796s|
|4||7||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||2m11.034s|
|6||29||Sam MacLeod||GBR||Team West-Tec F3||2m11.523s|
|7||20||Sergio Sette Camara||BRZ||Motopark||2m11.721s|
|8||27||Arjun Maini||IND||ThreeBond with T-Sport||2m11.722s|
|9||16||Alessio Lorandi||ITA||Van Amersfoort Racing||2m11.732s|
|10||3||Lance Stroll||CAN||SJM Theodore Racing by Prema Powerteam||2m11.794s|
|11||24||Santino Ferrucci||USA||Mucke Motorsport||2m11.965s|
|12||25||Mikkel Jensen||DEN||Mucke Motorsport||2m12.026s|
|13||30||Alexander Sims||GBR||Double R Racing||2m12.036s|
|14||2||Jake Dennis||GBR||SJM Theodore Racing by Prema Powerteam||2m12.053s|
|16||12||Yuhi Sekiguchi||JAP||B-Max Racing Team||2m12.197s|
|17||28||Ryan Tveter||USA||Team West-Tec F3||2m12.474s|
|20||11||Mitsunori Takaboshi||JAP||B-Max Racing Team||2m12.836s|
|21||22||Wing Chung Chang||MAC||Fortec Motorsports||2m12.879s|
|22||23||Hongwei Cao||CHN||Fortec Motorsports||2m12.969s|
|25||8||Gustavo Menezes||USA||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||2m13.369s|
|27||31||Matt Soloman||HKG||Double R Racing||2m13.736s|
|28||32||Zhi Cong Li||CHN||Jo Zeller Racing||2m14.525s|